Missing the days when there was quiet in your house? Have you memorized all of the words to your kids favorite TV show songs yet? Tired of finding new ways to keep your kids occupied when they have the attention span of, well, a kid?
Trying to find healthy ways to occupy your child’s attention can be an uphill battle.
As summer is upon us and our kids should be enjoying a normal summer, it can be even more daunting a task to keep them busy. Sure, we could just plop them down with a tablet or game controller and take a quick power nap but how long would that last? Not long enough!
Never fear, we are here to give you a helpful tip to not only entertain your kids, but also to allow them to express their fears, frustrations, and worries at the same time.
Using Art as Stress Relief for Kids
For many years there has been this archaic form of expression called art. A long-lost language that has been used mostly by the eccentric and hipsters alike. This useful tool has been found to help children, young and old, to express their thoughts and feelings in an effective and therapeutic way. It can also be fun!
By encouraging your young ones to express themselves in their own way, you help them to process feelings of anxiety, worry, fear, depression, anger, and confusion.
This form of art can be merely using some crayons and paper, or it can be done on a larger scale encouraging physical activity to release those energies in a fun way. While there are ways to put this into practice at home, as always, there are some moments that call for an individual with specialties we do not possess. This is where we are happy and eager to help.
At Loving Life Today, we are grateful to have Michalla Bolton on our team who specializes in this specific area. Michalla helps people use their creativity to deal with internal struggles, and she specializes in working with children and adolescents.
Why not try some of her suggestions at home, assess the response, and feel free to schedule an appointment with her to reap the full benefits of this useful modality.
4 Fun and Stress Relieving Activities for Kids
Try these fun and stress relieving activities for kids and let us know what you think. Tag your results with us on Instagram at @lovinglifetoday_tampabay.
#1) Rainbow Fish
- Just for fun!
- Ages: 4-7
- Materials Needed: Finger paint, paper, internet access, and a writing utensil.
Watch The Rainbow Fish YouTube video. After the story is over, parents can discuss what the child feels the story is about (bullying and sharing). Following this, youth will draw a picture of their own rainbow fish.
Encourage them to get creative, considering where their fish lives (sea, sky, lake, river, fish bowl), what it eats (kelp, pizza, mac n cheese), its name etc.
Then, either have your child color in the picture and tell you the story of their fish or have the child use their fingers (paint brushes) to create unique scales on their fish. This encourages fun, creativity, connection, and emotional learning.
#2) Act it Out: Creating a Script & Play
- Just for Fun
- Ages: 7-12
- Materials: Paper, writing utensil, craft materials, clothing from your closet.
Have your child write a short script and then have them design the costumes and set for their play utilizing clothing they already have and craft supplies from around the house. Keep in mind that cardboard boxes make wonderful customizable backdrops and bed sheets make beautiful show curtains.
This is a great way for youth to fully engage their imaginations and it provides them with a project that can last for days or even weeks. Have youth perform their show for family and friends via a virtual platform or in person.
Youth can even create custom tickets for the show, can decide on costs, music etc. This activity is educational on multiple levels, allows for creative expression, and can be naturally therapeutic if the child chooses to enact a subject surrounding internal concerns. If youth do not want to create their own shows then they can reenact their favorite film, book, bible story etc.
#3) Worry Monster
- Ages: 4-7
- Materials: Paper, nontoxic water and paint pre-mixed by an adult, straws, parental guidance, googly eyes or writing utensils.
Have your child name something that they are currently worried about. Then place a few drops of paint that you have gently mixed with a few drops of water onto the child’s paper. Have the child practice mindfulness breathing. In through the nose and out through the mouth slowly and deep.
Then have the child practice this mindful breath with the straw. Explain that this type of breathing helps with worry and stress. Then have the child focus on their worry and use this breath to blow air through the straw to spread the paint around on the paper.
Once the child has blown the paint as far or as much as they would like then wait for it to dry. Once it is dry, tell your child that this is their worry monster and have them draw eyes or clue on googly eyes. They can add any other features that they would like. Once done, show the child how this worry now looks silly and ask if their worry seems less scary or worrisome.
#4) What Do My Hands Hold?
- Ages: 7-17
- Materials: Paper and a Writing Utensil.
Have your youth trace their right and left hands on a piece of paper. Then have them consider their past and their future. This can mean last week or as far back as birth. It can mean a few years in the future or all the way to old age. Whatever your child chooses to select when it comes to the timeline.
Then have your child draw images and/or write words within the left hand that represent their past. Similarly, have the consider the future and draw images or/and write words related to the future they imagine for themselves. Then discuss this with them if you so choose.
This activity is wonderful for self-reflection, connection, and creativity.
Related: Using Art Therapy for Autism
Art Therapy at Loving Life Today
Art is a great way to have fun while processing difficult emotions like anxiety, worry, and stress.
If you’re interested in this type of therapy for you or your children, please reach out to us at Loving Life Today. We would love to help you use your creativity to find a healthy outlet for stress and anxiety.
Please call us at (813) 609-6946 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.